Mary Gibbins' PledgePage for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training

From what we get, we can make a living;
what we give, however, makes a life.
~~ Arthur Ashe

Thank you for visiting my PledgePage! I'm so glad you're here. Feel free to look around -- Check the stats on current fundraising totals, read about my progress in the diary, and please be sure to sign the guestbook!

My goal is to raise $4,000 to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in its battle against leukemia and other blood-related cancers. As a Team in Training member, I will participate in the North Trails Half Marathon on May 18, 2003 along with my teammates from the Leukemia Society's North Texas Chapter. Thanks to research funded by the Leukemia Society through programs like Team in Training, the survival rate for the most common form of childhood leukemia has improved from 4% in 1960 to over 73% today. In addition to funds raised, I will be training to honor and remember some very special people.

In memory of ... Alaina Enlow

Alaina is the reason I started all this. She was just a super-cool kid, graduated from the same high school as my son, and lived right next door. We didn't even know she was sick until a limousine got lost and pulled up in front of our house. This was from the Make a Wish Foundation, there to take her to the airport and off to fulfill her wish -- to go to New York to see Saturday Night Live. Alaina was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) in the summer of 2000, at the age of 15 1/2. This was the same summer my daughter was born, so this just seemed to increase my awareness of the heartbreak of this disease. I stayed up-to-date on Alaina's progress by reading the online journal her mother kept throughout the ordeal. Head on over to Alaina's Page to see this amazing young woman and read her story for yourself. Aside from the personal information regarding Alaina's progress and setbacks, there's just a ton of information about leukemia, its treatment, and the side effects of its treatment. Alaina went through 2 stem cell transplants and achieved remission 3 times (once for 11 months!) before finally succumbing to the effects of the GVH, which was caused by the transplant (as I understand it). She was a young woman with unique vision and incredible passion who had already been accepted into a photography school in Santa Barbara. Alaina was the spark that started my fire -- I discovered Team in Training through my desperate attempt to do something, anything, that might help. Your generous contributions will help to make sure that others like Alaina are given the chance to fulfill all their dreams.

In memory of ... Haney Cannon

Haney was 3 years old when first diagnosed with leukemia. I believe he was just a little older than my son, Christopher, when they met a few years later. Haney was my stepfather's grandson, and both children spent the night with him and my mom one night. The pictures from that day show two little tanned and freckled boys playing in the pool and putting together Legos. Haney really enjoyed school and was a star pupil -- After his death at the age of 8, the school planted a tree in his memory. All that, and he was a champion video player too!

In honor of ... Ty Jones

Ty is a 19-year-old student at Weatherford College with a major in Ag-Business. After he finishes his studies at Weatherford, his plan is to attend Tarleton University in Stephenville. Ty loves his job because he's working for a man who raises show pigs, something Ty's been doing ever since he was in 3rd grade! He loves the outdoors -- hunting, fishing, camping, etc. Ty was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) in April 2000 and just finished his last treatment with great news -- he's in remission!! When Ty's grandmother told him how proud she was of his bravery and positive outlook, his response was, "Well, I just have to keep smiling while I'm puking!" (I'll have to remember that when I'm feeling whiny about sore shins.) Another funny little detail -- Ty has been going to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. The treatments make him very sick (as referenced above -- blech), but when he goes there for his 3-day stays, his doctor refers to the hospital as the "Get Well Motel." I've heard so, so many positive things about this hospital. That's where Alaina went and from everything I've heard, it's like a port in a storm. Especially with the wonderful, caring staff. Anyway, I was ecstatic to get the news that Ty is officially in remission!

In honor of ... Ty Underwood

What were YOU doing in 1993? Ty got married, was diagnosed with ALL, started treatments, achieved remission, and had a baby boy -- all before July!!! Ty is one of those just genuinely swell guys. He's still married to the same woman, even after their incredibly crazy first year together. The only difference -- now they have TWO boys! He agreed to be an Honored Hero as long as he doesn't have to give any speeches. Ty completed all treatments at M.D. Anderson and has been in remission for 10 years!!

In memory of ... Jim Munzing

I didn't know Jim, but he was the husband of one of my most dearest friends, Marcy. He died of lymphoma in 1985 at the age of 37.

In honor of ... Pat Soper

I was given Pat's name by the same friend mentioned above. Pat has a dual diagnosis of leukemia and lymphoma. Any friend of Marcy's is a friend of mine, so join me in sending lots of positive vibes to her and all the others while I respectfully race in their honor.